Chennai: The MPL Indian Chess Tour, which will be the official circuit for the country’s players to qualify for and participate in the global Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, will kick off next year.
The new MPL Indian Chess Tour will be conducted by Play Magnus Group (PMG), founded by world champion Magnus Carlsen, in partnership with Mobile Premier League (MPL), a press release said.
India will be the only chess nation with its own regional expansion that can guarantee players on the elite Champions Tour, which carries a total prize pot of USD 1.6 million this year.
The tour will comprise four online tournaments followed by a Final where the winner will be crowned MPL Indian Chess Tour Champion 2022.
The matches will be streamed on chess24, chess24india and MPL’s YouTube and Facebook channels.
MPL will conduct four qualifiers on its platform where each winner will receive entry to each tournament and compete against top Indian GMs in the MPL Indian Chess Tour.
The winner of each tournament will receive an invitation to the multi-million dollar Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and an opportunity to play against the world’s best chess players including world chess champion and highest rated player of all time, Carlsen.
Seven Indian players have participated in the 2021 season of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour.
They included Humpy Koneru, Grandmaster stars Vidit Gujrathi, P Harikrishna and B Adhiban, as well as under-18 prodigies R Praggnanandha, D Gukesh and Arjun Erigaisi.
“India is a fast-growing market for chess and the MPL Indian Chess Tour is a fantastic opportunity for young Indian players to shine on both this new national circuit and the global Meltwater Champions Chess Tour,” Andreas Thome, CEO of Play Magnus Group was quoted as saying.
On his part, Sai Srinivas, co-founder and CEO of MPL said the objective at MPL is to grow the esports industry by making it more accessible and inclusive.